"Jesus' Final and Greatest Miracle"

Fifth Sunday of Lent Year A

29 March 2020



“I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, although he be dead, shall live: And everyone that liveth, and believeth in me, shall not die for ever:”Jn. 11:25-26

In today’s Gospel (Jn. 11:3-7, 20-27, & 33-45), we have Jesus’ last and greatest miracle, the raising of Lazarus from the dead. It has two special purposes: first, to prove that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God to whom the Father is now testifying publicly with the miracle, and secondly, to move the Chief Priests and Pharisees to carry out their plan to kill Jesus. This is Jesus’ hour and it has now come! In addition to the death of Lazarus, Jesus is deeply troubled, as he was in Garden of Gethsemane, for he knows that the hour of His crucifixion would now be set in motion. But, in the raising of Lazarus, Jesus will conquer death as his resurrection from the dead foreshadows Christ’s own resurrection on Easter Sunday. His resurrection also foreshadows our resurrection to eternal life when we come to die in the state of sanctifying grace: “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, although he be dead, shall live:” Jn. 11:25-6 We should all rejoice in Lazarus’ resurrection for it proves all that Jesus said of Himself is true: “And every one that liveth, and believeth in me, shall not die for ever. Jn. 11:26


Jesus’ Divinity and His Messianic Mission


The raising of Lazarus from the dead solemnly confirms all that Jesus has said of Himself that He is from God and is the Messiah. This is why he delayed four days in coming to Lazarus. He did it for God’s glory in that it proves that Jesus is the Son of God with power over life and death. It also proves to all who believe in him the they will have life everlasting because Jesus said: I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, although he be dead, shall live:” Jn. 11:25 Those who believe in Jesus are also freed from sin which alone can cause eternal death in hell. This is why Jesus said, Loose him, and let him go.” Jn. 11:44 Lazarus will be loosed from his sins which have bound him in death. Jesus has the power over death and conquers death by raising Lazarus from the dead; so too He has the power over sin by conquering sin by His own death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead on Easter morning.


“The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.” Jn. 12:23

While the resurrection of Lazarus proves Jesus’ divinity, it is also related with His own death by setting in motion the “hour” of His passion as Jesus knows now that He is so near to Jerusalem where the High Priests and Pharisees are waiting for Him. Many Jews were present at the raising of Lazarus in Bethany which was only two miles from Jerusalem. Jesus could have easily raised Lazarus as soon as the news came to Him, but He waits two full days and then proceeds on His journey to Bethany. He wanted this miracle to be so dramatic that it would prove His divinity beyond a shadow of doubt for God’s glory: This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God: that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” Jn. 11:4 It is also so dramatic that the Jews will be incensed because now: “If we let him alone so, all will believe in him;” Jn. 11:48 Now the leaders of the Jews will set in motion the plan to kill Jesus. This “hour” of His death is set in motion and Jesus is deeply troubled in His sacred humanity: “Jesus, therefore, when he saw her weeping, and the Jews that were come with her, weeping, groaned in the spirit, and troubled himself,...” Jn.11:33

For God’s Glory

Of course, Jesus was also troubled because He loved Lazarus and his sisters, Martha and Mary: And Jesus wept. The Jews therefore said: Behold how he loved him.” Jn. 11:35-6 Both sisters separately mentioned to Jesus that if He had been there, Lazarus would not have died: “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” Jn.11: 21 and Jn. 11:32 Neither is thinking of Lazarus being raised from the dead and restored to life: Martha knew that he would rise from the dead on the last day: “I know that he shall rise again, in the resurrection at the last day.” Jn. 11:24 Jesus allowed them to suffer the loss of Lazarus for four days for God’s glory. The delay even caused Lazarus’s body to decay and smell: Lord, by this time he stinketh, for he is now of four days.” Jn.11:39 Jesus waited this time to prove beyond a doubt that Lazarus was truly dead and that He had the power to raise him from dead. Lazarus is truly dead! All not only see it, but they can smell his decomposition! The delay in raising Lazarus from the dead was for God’s glory so that all would believe that Jesus was God and His words prove it: “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, although he be dead, shall live...” Jn: 11:25

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